TO-Tech Blog Todd Ogasawara’s Tech Blog

5Jun/100

Plants vs. Zombies Composer Posted YouTube Videos of Various Arrangements

There are two games on the iPad that I'm addicted to. One is the free "We Rule" from ngmoco. The other is the $9.99 Plants vs. Zombies HD (PvZ). I rarely listen to or even notice game background music. But, the music for PvZ is a lot of fun to listen to. I especially like the end-game song "There's a Zombie on Your Lawn". So, I went to YouTube to find a video of it to watch on demand. I learned there that the PvZ composer's website (Laura Shigihara) is found here:

http://shigi.wordpress.com/

If you scroll down a bit you'll find interesting arrangements of some of the PvZ music (YouTube videos) including a piano solo version of "Braniac Maniac" (Zomboss' theme) and a classical guitar version of of the game's main theme. As you go back through the blog's archive, you'll find piano solo's of "Moongrains", "Choose Your Seeds", Watery Graves", "Mini Games theme", and "Graze The Roof".

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28Apr/100

Iron Man 2 Augmented Reality Demo

Website: http://www.iamironman2.com/uk/

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17Apr/100

Confirmed: Ubuntu Netbook Remix Caused Aspire One Netbook Battery Issue

Back in December 2009, I noted that my Acer Aspire One netbook could not work on battery power after updating to Ubuntu Netbook Remix (UNR) 9.10.

I can confirm this is the case now. Here's what happened.

I decided to take a look at the recent MeeGo release. MeeGo is the project that resulted from the merger of Intel's Moblin and Nokia's Maemo projects. Unfortunately, I discovered that MeeGo is nowhere near ready for production use on a netbook (no GUI). So, I decided to take a look at the soon to be defunct Mobile 2.1 instead. I installed it on the Acer Aspire One and discovered that it saw its battery as completed drained. UNR reported the battery as fully charged. With Moblin installed, the Aspire One charged up in less than 2 hours. I'm using it right now on battery power to post this blog entry.

So, it looks like UNR was completely unable to deal with the Aspire One's battery subsystem.

Moblin doesn't solve my desire for a netbook running Linux though. Moblin seems to have a lot of problems with the Aspire One's trackpad. It is very difficult to do something as selecting a checkbox on a web form.

That said, it is good to have a netbook running a Linux variant that can be used on battery power.

Filed under: Linux No Comments
18Jan/100

Bing Translator & Translation Bot for Windows Live Messenger

bingtranslate_sony

Reading through the version update note for WritePad for iPhone, one item stood out of its short list: Support for Bing Translator. I had not hear of this before (or have forgotten) and went searching for it. You can find this web-based written language translator at:

http://www.microsofttranslator.com/

translate.bing.com

...works too. But, it just redirects to MicrosoftTranslator.com. It can translate anything from a single word/phrase to an entire web page (just enter the site's URL). I liked the way it places the original and translated web page side-by-side (see screenshot above).

Microsoft also provides a Translation Bot that can be used with Windows Live Messenger. Add mtbot@hotmail.com as a contact and invite it into a conversation for translation assistance.

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22Dec/090

Microsoft Removing Custom XML Feature from Word 2007 & 2010

I can't say I understand exactly what "Custom XML" is used for in Word 2007 and 2010. However, Microsoft lost the patent lawsuit over it to i4i.

Microsoft loses i4i appeal; must pay $290M and alter Word

ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley (back in August) seemed to be puzzled by it too. So, I'm not alone in trying to understand what the removal of this feature means.

'Custom XML' the key to patent suit over Microsoft Word

Matt Asay commented 9also back in August) that it may affect working with the ODF format.

Microsoft's 'Custom XML' patent suit could put ODF at risk

Here's Microsoft's MSDN overview of XML in Word in general with comments throughout about "custom XML".

Introduction to the Word 2007 XML Format

6Dec/097

Unlikely, But Did Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.10 Kill My Acer Aspire One Battery?

This is probably just a coincidence, but...

Last week my Acer Aspire One got about 2.5 to 3 hours of use on its 3-cell battery. I was running Ubuntu Netbook Remix (UNR) 9.04 at the time. I updated the netbook to UNR 9.10 last weekend. After the update, the netbook won't boot unless it is plugged into an A/C electrical outlet. Pulling the plug with the netbook running results in it shutting off immediately as if the battery does not have any charge. UNR's battery status icon reports that the battery has a 0.0% charge level (no charge) but is, at the same time, "fully charged."

I suppose I could test it by wiping the SSD and reinstalling UNR 9.04. But, that takes a lot of time and I'm don't have a lot of incentive to do so (the Aspire One is not my primary netbook). Anyone else having netbook battery issues after upgrading to UNR 9.10?

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20Nov/090

How Microsoft Counts-1,3.11,95,2000,XP,Vista,Windows 7

I know several people (including me) have wondered how exactly Windows 7 got its "7" designation. My count was:

1. Windows 1
2. Windows 2
3. Windows 3
4. Windows 95
5. Windows NT
6. Windows 98
7. Windows Me
8. Windows 2000
9. Windows XP
10. Windows Vista

I was also tempted to throw in Windows for Workgroups 3.11 and Windows 98 Second Edition which I consider significant releases. So, how did Microsoft figure out the current release is "7"? This item from their Higher Innovation blog might explain it...

Microsoft Windows 24/7

Microsoft does not "count" Windows 2, 3 (they skip to 3.11), and 98. Windows NT is mentioned but apparently not included in the family line. So, there you have it. This is how Microsoft counts Windows versions:

1. Windows 1
2. Windows 3.11
3. Windows 95
4. Windows 2000
5. Windows XP
6. Windows Vista
7. Windows 7

The mystery is officially solved.

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16Nov/090

Amazon Frustration-Free Packaging

Amazon is pushing their...

Amazon Frustration-Free Packaging

...for the holiday buying season. I hope a lot more products start to ship with this kind of packaging and wish other vendors can adopt a similar strategy.

Filed under: Opinion No Comments
1Nov/090

Quick Test of Windows Vista Touch Interface (video)

Noticed a Dell all-in-one PC with a touchscreen running Windows 7 Vista in a local Costco yesterday. Recorded a bit of me playing with the touch UI. I was very impressed by its responsiveness and ease of use. Was tempted to buy the Dell desktop PC. But, I don't really want an all-in-one desktop PC at the moment. I would like to get a touchscreen LCD display that can be used with existing desktops running Windows 7 though.

27Oct/090

Asus ESC 1000 Should Have Been Branded Eee SuperPC :-)

Interesting item from GoodGearGuide.com...

Asustek teams with Nvidia on 1.1 Teraflop supercomputer

The desktop PC sized supercompter features 960 Nvidia graphic cores with 24GB of DDR3 DRAM. At an estimated US$14,519 this is a very affordable supercomputer.

I think Asus should brand is as the Eee SuperPC :-)